GJA blasts Speaker for ‘threatening’ parliamentary press corps
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has accused the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, of trying to interfere with free press after his recent threats to members of the Parliamentary Press corps.
The GJA in a statement described the threats as unfortunate and “an affront to media freedom and free speech.”
This is after Prof. Oquaye, on Wednesday, summoned the Dean of the Parliamentary Press Corps and the Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, following a complaint from the Majority Leader of the House.
He complained that journalists abandoned proceedings in the House to cover a press briefing by the Member of Parliament for Ellembele.
The Association, in its criticism, also said the Speaker’s comments were “tantamount to interfering in the editorial independence of the media.”
It added that it will “not countenance any action that attempts to take away the media’s right to inform the people’s right to know.”
“We further state that the decision as to what activity in Parliament to highlight, cover or give attention to is entirely within the purview of the various media houses.”
The statement further indicated the resolve of the GJA to defend the press corps in court.
“The GJA will not hesitate to take any and every action, including legal recourse, to vindicate and reaffirm the freedoms and independence of the media should this unhealthy threat or admonition resurface in future.”